Nationwide unrest continues for sixth night in France following fatal shooting of Nahel Merzouk

Monday, July 3, 2023

Unrest in Planoise.
Image: Toufik-de-Planoise.

Unrest over the police shooting of Nahel Merzouk, a 17-year-old of Algerian and Moroccan descent during a Tuesday traffic stop in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, continued in France last night for the sixth consecutive night. The protests have seen arrests — 157 last night — injuries, and damage to schools, police stations, town halls, and stores.

Today, a 24-year-old Paris firefighter died extinguishing a fire in a subterranean car park.

President Emmanuel Macron earlier held a crisis meeting and deployed additional police forces, but refrained from declaring a state of emergency. Macron appealed to parents to keep their children at home and urged social media platforms to remove content related to the unrest.

Macron condemned the shooting and the unrest and called for the latter's end, as did Merzouk's grandmother.

Under formal investigation for voluntary homicide and in jail, an officer who admitted to shooting Merzouk claimed he aimed for Merzouk's leg but accidentally fired a lethal shot toward the boy's chest.

The United Nations' human rights office demanded France address any racism in its law enforcement.